What? Such thing as “leftover wine” actually exists? This might sound as rare as the majestic unicorn. Sooner or later we all come to a point in life when an open bottle of wine is rattling around the fridge and the clock is ticking on its drinkability. Whether you’ve just had a party with way too much booze, received a weird wine in your gift basket, or simply can’t soldier through the whole bottle solo, don’t worry. There’s no need to throw out the leftover wine with tears in your eyes. Instead, you can put it to a good use and add a flavorful touch to your everyday cooking.
So versatile both in the glass and on your plate, cooking with wine can definitely bring about its own pleasure. In fact, using wine in your recipes can be even more rewarding. To achieve the culinary glory of wine requires one simple thing: experimenting with wine as an ingredient. But a shortcut to success are these useful tips we are about to share. No matter how elaborate the dish, or how expensive the wine, consider the following as gold:
Tips For Cooking With Wine
Use it as Marinade
Wine is basically an acid ingredient with a lot of flavor. A wine-based marinade also helps keep meat, poultry, or seafood moist while it cooks.
Use it as Cooking Liquid
Add wine to dishes you’re cooking on the stove, in a slow cooker, or in the oven. Simmered along with the food, it adds flavor and moisture to whatever dish you’re making.
Low Fat and High Flavor
Using wine as an ingredient to fortify existing aromas and flavors. Adding wine can increase and even accent the flavor of the other ingredients. For example, wine adds flavor to seafood without smothering it in fat. One way to add flavor and moisture to fish without adding fat is to cook it with wine. In fact, some cooks replace fat and butter with wine, which makes the dishes not only healthier, but way tastier, too.
Nice and Slow
Never add wine to a dish right before serving. Wine needs time to simmer and be absorbed into the food. It needs to become a part of the overall flavor hence needs to be cooked slowly with the other ingredients.
Dry vs. sweet
Keep in mind that very dry wine has very few natural sugars remaining, and is usually higher in alcohol. The sweeter wines on the other hand contain a larger amount of natural sugar. So, choose the type of wine depending on the flavor you want for the dish. P.S. For those of you who are doubting about using alcohol in recipes, rest assured: it does evaporate during the cooking process. What’s left behind is a highly concentrated flavor perfect for the taste buds of any foodie out there, even underaged ones.
How much is enough
The main rule in cooking with wine is to avoid extremes. The food you’re making, the type of wine you’re using and the flavor you’d like to achieve will all dictate the amount of wine added in the recipe. While too little wine is a waste, as it will be drowned by other ingredients in the process of cooking; too much wine will be too overbearing.
Things to avoid
The wines best for cooking are those that are full-bodied – white, red, or rosé. But in some wines, the sugar may become concentrated during the cooking process. Use any sweet wines with caution not to over sweeten the food. Also, try to avoid tart white wines as the acidity may be too concentrated.
Never use the so-called “cooking” wines you find at a store. They’re not only diluted and flavorless, but also come from questionable wine sources. The best rule of thumb for cooking with wine is: If you enjoy drinking it, it’s likely you’ll enjoy cooking with it.
And the last secret to cooking with wine: don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun! Get creative, and try to invent new flavor combinations. And, after you’ve created something spectacular; don’t forget to share with us how you did it or at least share with your friends these useful tips by clicking on a social media button below.
Ready to get started with the wine in your kitchen?
- Take a look through our wine selection to treat the foodie in your life.
- Read up on how to prep the perfect wine party even with no notice.
- Share the article with other wine lovers out there by clicking on a social media button below.
One of the longest-standing members of the GiftBasketsOverseas.com family, Kate is creative, responsible and meticulous. No matter what she’s doing – for the company or in her personal life – Kate always tries to put her best foot forward and enjoy the process.